December 2000


December 2000

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The call in the marketplace
The Editor

John Armitage

Pastoral work in our communities will suffer if we lose the sense of our basic vocation of being called into existence by God. John Armitage, who is parish priest of St Margaret’s, Canning Town, London, draws on his experience of working in the East End to show ‘how pastoral work for vocations is the vocation of pastoral work today’.

Scripture in pastoral ministry
Vicky Cosstick

Scripture is almost silent on the subject of pastoral care, yet, says Vicky Cosstick, a frequent contributor to this journal, it identifies 'what is essential to a Christian viewpoint on pastoral care'. So much so that the 'Christian in pastoral ministry needs to be immersed' in it.

Pastoral care in US parishes
Philip J. Murnion

'Parishes have enormous resilience in responding to changing circumstances, cultures, and needs' says Philip Murnion, Director of The National Pastoral Life Center, Manhattan, New York. But how will they be able to respond to falling clergy numbers and other contemporary problems? This article shows how parishes in the USA are adapting to the pastoral needs of people today and gives hope for church everywhere tomorrow.

The pastoral needs of the laity
Clare Barbour

What is required to satisfy the pastoral needs of a parish which works in a collaborative way? Clare Barbour, a mother of three sons, describes how one West London parish met these needs, but then shows how quickly things can change with the arrival of a new priest. The biggest need is for substantial change at the heart of the Church which allows 'priests and people to interact in a relationship of adult equality'.

Comfort and challenge
Peter Verity

Peter Verity was Vicar General of the Diocese of Lancaster under Bishop Brewer and is at present parish priest of St Anthony's in Preston. He draws on both his parish and diocesan experience to show that effective pastoral care must attempt to 'arrive at the correct balance between care which brings comfort and prophetic care points to new horizons'.

How do we care for these carers?
Sarah Linsell

There are many people in our parishes who are caring for otheres, for elderly parents, disabled children, partners with terminal illnesses or other conditions. Sarah Lindsell, of the national Catholic Agency for Social Concern (CASC), suggests what these helpers' needs might be and seeks to 'encourage parishes to develop a response to care for the carer'.

Meeting God in a hospital ward
Isidore Clarke OP

How do we learn to care? Isidore Clark, a Dominican at Holy Cross Priory in Leicester, describes how a period as a patient in hospital taught him how to be a better hospital chaplain.

Living on Mount Nebo
Candace Galik

Candace Galik, a convert from Judaism, is one of an increasing number of women who are now 'pastoral administrators' as parishes in the United States cannot provide a priest in residence. She reflects here on a week working in the parish which she compares to Mount Nebo 'where I remember Moses - who would die without ever leaving the mountain'.

A life of love
Erik Varden

Erick Varden, a Norwegian and Fellow of St Jonh's College, Cambridge, tells the story of a remarkable Lutheran woman, Gunvor Norman (1903-85), who inspired communities of both Catholic and Lutheran religious sisters. Her ecumenism 'was of uncompromising fidelity to the gospel, at the heart of the one Church which pulsates with the heartbeat of Christ'. And for her, the Christian vocation was a calling ' to live in profound reverence for every living thing, and to our duty'. Truly an inspiration for our times.

Preaching and teaching the World
Peter Cornwell

Peter Cornwell, fomely chaplain at Prior Park College, Bath, offers some reflections on the lectionary readings for the Sundays of September and October.

Pastoralia: Preparing the ground

After the summer break, many parishes intend to organise some kind of RCIA process for the enquirers who have made themselves known recently. But what happens where there are no enquirers? How are parishioners to evangelise their neighbourhoods when few know how to begin? Who can they look for an example of how to do it? Evangelical Christians, as their names implies, have been engaged in the process for years and, in this article, reprinted from the Spring 2001 Evangelism Resource Guide (The Good Book Company), they show they are aware of responding to changing needs. It is offered here as a contribution to understanding the process required in taking the good news to the world.


Press On! Micheal Hollings: his life and witness
edited by Jock Dalrymple, Terry Tastard and Joan McCrimmon
Mc Crimmons, £7.95
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Carers in the community: why have you forsaken me?
Edna Hunneysett
APS Publishng, £12.95
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Confronting the Truth: conscience in the Catholic tradition
Linda Hogan
Darton, Longman and Todd, £12.95
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Sacramental Orders
Susan K. Wood
The Liturgical Press, £19.95
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The Theology of Priesthood
edited by Donald J. Goergen and Ann Garrido
The Liturgical Press, £24.95
Tablet Bookshop Price: £ Tel: 020 8324 5634